"I have been a seeker and I still am, but I stopped asking the books and the stars. I started listening to the teaching of my Soul." - RUMI
Have I found a form of exercise that I actually look forward to? I think so! Having never considered this form of exercise particularly challenging, I was pleasantly surprised to find myself excitedly looking forward to sweating!
After just two weeks of classes at CorePower Yoga I am noticeably more relaxed; and I even sleep better (less tossing and turning)! If you're an active reader of my not-so-active blog, then you know how busy the past few months have been. Scrunched up for hours staring at my computer has left my shoulders in super tight knots that not even the masseuse could undo.
What I love about YOGA is that it seems more purposeful than other forms of exercise. I truly enjoy it because I see the internal - mind, body, and soul - benefits of my daily practice, and it makes me want to keep doing it. It fills a void that is left by simply going to the gym, lifting weights, and running on the treadmill. It helps me become more mindful and present, providing an avenue for a sustainable lifestyle change.
"Mindfulness helps you go home to the present. And every time you go there and recognize a condition of happiness that you have, happiness comes." - Thich Nhat Hanh
Each class offered has its own "standard" vinyasa-flow sequence, allowing students to first familiarize themselves with the poses and then, with each subsequent class, to focus on improving and refining each pose. Despite the standard sequence, I leave each class improving upon the one before, and taking away something new.
FAVORITE CLASS: HOT POWER FUSION
At 102 -104 degrees with 40% added humidity, this class is the sweatiest of them all! As described on their website:
A true blend of balance, strength and flexibility, Hot Power Fusion combines the meditative qualities of hot yoga with the intensity of power yoga to help you deepen your practice. Set to motivating music, you’ll focus on postures that open the shoulders, hips and spine while strengthening your core and upper body.
I absolutely love how balanced and rejuvenated I feel afterwards! Never before have I sweat so much during an exercise class!
THE CLASS I SHOULD TAKE MORE OFTEN: YOGA SCULPT
If you've ever taken an HIIT class then, Yoga Sculpt will sound very familiar. In this class traditional yoga poses are combined with light weights and lots of cardio. If you're looking to tone your muscles and burn a bunch of calories, then this is a great class to take 2-3 times a week. I really should be taking this class more often (but it's so hard!). Here's the description from their website:
When muscle meets yoga, Sculpt is born. Boost metabolism and build lean muscle mass as you move to upbeat tracks. You’ll combine free weights with C2 sequencing and cardio to intensify each pose while mixing in strength-training moves like squats, lunges and bicep curls.
THINGS TO KNOW IF YOU ATTEND A CLASS HERE
Bring a mat and towel. If you forget, these are available for $2 and $1 at the studio. Also bring a water bottle to ensure you stay well hydrated throughout the class and afterwards! They encourage coming 10-15 minutes before the start of class, as the more popular classes fill up quickly and there is no pre-registration for any classes. Each class ends with the instructor placing a cool lemon-lavender scented towel on your forehead!
The best thing about CorePower is the number of locations and the variety of classes offered throughout the day! I alternate between the Glenview, Old Orchard, and West Loop locations. I especially love classes lead by ANNA V and RACHEL F and I definitely recommend taking one of their classes if your schedule allows!
Sign up for your FREE first week HERE!